Indonesian Muslim leaders have rejected a proposal that would allow Palestinian terror group Hamas to open an office in Jakarta.
“We do not feel bound to support this idea,” said Professor Din Syamsuddin, who chairs Muhammadiyah, a 29-million strong Islamic reformist movement that advocates individuals are free to interpret the Quran as they wish.
Syamsuddin explained that he did not feel it necessary for Hamas to be represented, as the Palestinian Authority already maintains a presence in Indonesia. He explained that if “one of the two [Hamas or Fatah] opens an office,” “potential diplomatic and institutional conflict” may ensue.
Nahdlatul Ulama, which has country’s largest modernist Islamic group at 30-million members, shared the sentiment that Hamas should not be allowed to open an office in their country.
“We already have the embassy of Palestine.. and do not need anything else,” said the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who added that the terror group will never be allowed to have a diplomatic presence in their country.
Hamas’s failed diplomatic initiative started when their delegation was met with great controversy when they were received by Indonesia’s Vice-President last week. The delegation also met with the country’s House Speaker and second highest-ranking official in the capital.
Indonesia sports a population of over 250 million people, with over 200 million identifying as Muslims.
Hamas is designated as a terrorist group by the United States, UK, Australia, Canada, and many other countries.
In July, Hamas launched continuing unprovoked rocket fire into the State of Israel, which resulted in a 50-day war that devastated the Gaza Strip, where the jihadi group rules with an iron fist.